Wendy Meulebroeck was born in Wilrijk, Belgium in 1975. In July 1998 she graduated at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) as an Electro-technical Engineer with majors in Photonics. Her thesis was done in collaboration with industry and concerned the feasibility study of the use of the polarization of light to enhance the efficiency of optical-based sorting machines used in the food industry. Immediately after her studies she began her doctoral research at the Department of Applied Physics and Photonics (TONA), Faculty of Engineering under the supervision of Prof. H. Thienpont. In January 2004 she received her PhD in Applied Sciences at the university with the thesis entitled "Optical detection techniques for laser sorting machines: product identification and quality control". This PhD was awarded with the greatest distinction.
"Multidisciplinary " and "applied-oriented research" are the two key words that best describe the research activities of Wendy Meulebroeck. Since 1998 she contributed to many projects mainly in collaboration with industry and has she been able to work with people from different research disciplines (archaeology, archaeometry, architecture, chemical engineering, materials science and polymer chemistry).
Wendy Meulebroeck's main expertise is situated in the use of optical spectroscopy (UV-VIS-NIR absorption / fluorescence) for the study of different types of materials. Since 2011 she leads a research unit focusing on this topic within the research group B-PHOT (Brussels Photonics Team – B-Phot). This research was initially mainly done in the framework of several large-scale industrial projects (with support of the IWT; Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology) with high economic impact (in collaboration with the company’s Elbicon, Barco Machine Vision and Barco View) and since 2010 also through a bilateral agreement with the company Best-Tomra. During her doctoral research she studied the spectroscopic behavior of biological products after exposure to UV-VIS-NIR light. This research opened new perspectives for the former machine division unit of Barco (later acquired by BEST) and led directly to the development of two new commercial machines (FluoTM and Detox™). Related to this research, she has contributed to three patents . Another example is the study of photopolymers used in the printing industry in collaboration with the company Punch Graphix (Xeikon) and the polymer chemistry department of the VUB (Prof. G.Van Assche). Other types of materials were also examined during the past years. This is in the context of service contracts to third parties (diamonds-WTOCD; LCOS panels-Gemidis, sample holders-Trinean; lubricant oils-Bekaert; tumors-Peira Thrombogenics).
In 2008 Wendy Meulebroeck was one of the initiators to use optical spectroscopy in projects with historical relevance. Main aim is to investigate archaeological and historical materials (glass and paintings) in a quasi-non-destructive way to answer questions related to origin, provenance, restoration and conservation issues. This research is performed in collaboration with the material science department (Prof. H. Terryn) and the archaeological department (Prof. K. Nys) of the VUB). The obtained expertise within a horizontal research action (VUB/HOA15) and a Proof-of-Concept project (VUB/IOF-PoC01) contributed to the approval of the Marie Curie training network "NARNIA "(EU FP7 People ITN/EU360).
Since January 2013 she is collaborating with the architecture department of the VUB to study the appearance of mortar layers (Prof. A. Verdonck).
Wendy Meulebroeck is author of 19 Web of Science cited scientific publications .
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